What does Buddhism have to do with persuasion?

It’s fundamental.

Most people think “ego” is the same thing as self-regard, but the Buddhist concept of ego is different. It’s more fluid. Buddhists believe that inside each of us is a constant struggle between the ego that says, “I’m different. I’m special,” and the spirit that knows we’re all the same. The ego wants to separate from others. The spirit wants to unite. When you’re trying to persuade, coming from the spirit-from a place of unity and inclusion-is the most effective approach.

The key to successful persuasion is to put your own ego aside and focus on making others in the room feel safe and included. You’re not trying to talk them into your plan, you’re trying to make it their plan too. From the very beginning you ask them, “What are we trying to accomplish here?” You let them define the goal with you. With their input, you boil that goal down to one or two simple sentences that everyone agrees on.  Then you state it out loud, and you’re the leader of a group of people who have unified around the plan. When everyone feels invested, their commitment to the goal will be strong and long-lasting.

That’s true persuasion, based on Buddhist ideals of unity and inclusion.

Related posts:

  1. The Power of Persuasion

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